Genealogy conference set for Saturday

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society (BBAAGHS) will hold its 11th annual conference on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

This year’s theme is “Reconstruction to Jim Crow in the Black Belt.”

Presentations by historians will focus on the Reconstruction era, 1865 to 1877, that was followed by the passage of laws that enforced racial segregation in the late 19th and early 20th century. Two genealogy sessions on how to get started and how to use DNA will also be offered.

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The keynote speaker will be Linda Kenney Miller, author of “Beacon on a Hill,” the story of her grandfather, pioneering Tuskegee physician Dr. John A. Kenney.

The son of former slaves, Dr. Kenney, was the personal physician to both Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. He helped found John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, where he served as director and chief surgeon.

Early registration for the conference will begin on Friday from 3-5 p.m. at the library.

Same day registration will be on Saturday morning from 8 to 8:45 am.

The opening session will begin at 9 a.m. Miller will speak at 11:30 am and her talk will be followed by a question and answer period and a book signing. The conference is free and open to the public.

For more information about BBAAGHS and the conference, please visit or call Debra Love at (205) 540-2806 or B.J. Smothers at (404) 273-6965.